Thursday, February 17, 2005

Interesting Conversation

So this morning I had a "chat date" with my friend across the pond, and we got into a discussion regarding marriage.
Reasons why I think marriage dosen't work, reasons why he thinks it could/does, and lists of what makes a good marriage.

My thought process was as follows-

There is no reason to get married.
If you care for someone, more than anyone else, why not just be with them?
A legal declaration would have no power to keep one from straying, and would not make someone want to be with someone if they no longer cared for them.
So why get married at all?
Why not just enjoy your life together, as long as you both choose, and not get involved in the financial and legal ramifications that a wedding includes?
Just celebrate caring for eachother and enjoy being.

He feels that if two people care for eachother, a declaration of that feeling is part of the celebration.

"It's not about legalities or finances-it's about love-but not being IN love.
Being in love comes and goes-its love that stays, and love that should be nurtured and protected and declared."

"Ah ha!" I interject-
"But when do you know it's that sort of love, and not just being IN love, or IN lust, or IN whatever you think is love?
What if you THINK it's love, you get married, and it turns out to be of the lust or in love variety, and now you have a mess once the lust ends, or being in love has come and gone?"

"Simple", he says, "you marry someone you love, not someone you're in love with."

"So what does that mean?" I ask. "You marry someone there is no passion with, but who you care for?"

"Not at all. You want passion, and you want truth, and trust, and beauty, and all those ideals. You just don't give into any of them until you know its real."

I warn/ tease him, "I'm going to have to cut and paste this into my blog-just so you know :)"

"Guess I should mind my language"

"Sooooo?" I ask, "how do you know when its real-how long do you wait to confirm?"

He begins to explain:

"At the start you don't marry before you know who you are-all these knobbers rush off to marry the first person they have an adult relationship with and they spend the rest of their lives resenting it."

"How long do you think it takes someone to know who they are? 25? 30? 35?"
Here there was a long pause-
"Hello?"
"Still there?"
I'm starting to be annoyed...
Finally an answer-

"Sorry. Went to find a quote to support all this, allow me a moment to write this out"
'Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he Who finds himself, loses his misery.'"

"and who said that?"

"Matthew Arnold"

"So you're saying it's not at a particular age, but once a particular wisdom is gained?" (I'm trying to make sure I understand the point of that quote)

"Exactly"

"and have you gained this wisdom?", I ask.

"I'm beginning to think so"

"and the wisdom is that you marry someone you love, who you are not in love with, but that you have passion and beauty with? Could you simplify that a bit?"

"You marry someone you may have been IN love with at one point, but now you know you love. Someone that passion is there with, but there is also a friendship. Once you know who you are, and what you need and want, you pick a mate who shares the same motivations and understandings."

"and do you wait till you know yourself before you start dating to find this friendship?" I ask.

"no-the dating and living is what helps you get to know who you are. That's what's wrong with people getting married so young. They marry before they have lived and before they have learned. They are picking someone to spend their life with, when they don't even know who they are yet."

"I think I know who I am now."

"I think you do too."

"Do you think you know who you are now?"

"I do. It's taken me a little longer than you, but I think I do."

Long Pause

"IF you were to take a husband, what would your list be?" he asks.

"A list of who I would take as a husband?"

"NOT Alan Rickman! Not that kind of list-a list of qualities or expectations."

"I wouldn't marry Alan Rickman" I try to defend, "I'd just enjoy him."

"Fine-but if you were to marry-what would the list be?"

"Someone intelligent, makes me laugh, I can talk too, values my opinion, honest, well-read, enjoys my independance, encourages my development, travels, secure in who he is, not looking for Mommy, does not want kids, likes dogs, trusting, ummmm"

"Looks?"

"to a degree-but if all the other things were in place I'd find them sexy anyway-so looks aren't really an issue-though I would want someone I enjoy looking at-and someone I want to kiss"

"Interesting"

"how so?"

"dogs but no kids?"

"absolutely! :) -so come on with your list" ,I say.

"She needs to be self assured. Someone who can walk into an event and not feel that she is out matched. She should always be interested in learning new things and be capable enough to participate in discussions with me and my colleagues. Someone who is comfortable with time on her own, and who understands that my life involves hours in libraries and hours of research. She would be well-traveled and willing to go somewhere new for weeks at a time if need be. Someone who will laugh at herself, and not mind if I laugh at her too. She can handle herself in different social circles, and does not expect me to spend all of my free time with her."

"Thats a rather specific list!"

"Life's lessons my Dear :)"

"So you've dated women in the past who have taught you that these are now important qualities to you, and because you now know who you are, you can recognize that?"

"Yes."

"Got it-so now you just need to find a friend, who has all of these qualities, who you have some passion with, and who is of like-mind. It all seems very logical, but how likely is it?"

"I guess I'll find out."

"guess so"

So now my blog reader, comes my question to you-
Is this type of process the answer to marriage?
Is this why arranged marriages work? List whats most important, and let like minds and shared values be the basis of a future?

I'm not sure how I feel about it all now-
Thoughts?

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